In April 2014 the Home Secretary recommended that all police forces introduce the Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme to help them become more transparent, involve communities more in how stop and search powers are used, and support a more intelligence-led approach. The aim is to improve the number of successful stop and searches and achieve better outcomes for communities.
The Countywide Community Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel acts independently and scrutinises stop and search across Lancashire.
The panel provides feedback on stop and search practices, giving a voice for community concerns and influencing police practices. We hope the scrutiny panel will give the public more confidence and trust in the way stop and searches are conducted and in the correct and proportionate exercise of stop and search powers.
There are 10 members of the panel, who come from across Lancashire, and, as far as possible, represent the demographics of the county. The panel has been selected by the community and acts completely independently from the police.
The operational local policing command lead for stop and search within Lancashire Constabulary is available to attend panel meetings so that panel members can ask questions directly, and is accountable for any issues and concerns which arise. The Chair was appointed by the group in order to demonstrate transparency and accountability. The Chair is reviewed on an annual basis.
The scrutiny panel meets quarterly for two hours at various locations within the county to dip sample stop and search forms to ensure they are PACE Code A compliant, identify any concerns, issues and examples of learning and good practice. This is a standing agenda item on the force Best Use of Stop and Search strategic meeting.